The coverage of the Independent Monitoring Commission's (IMC's) 22nd report on paramilitary activities, vindicates that tradition. Shootings by dissident republican sects at war with both the British and Sinn Féin defined the news. A month ago when US secretary of state Hillary Clinton visited Northern Ireland it was the same story: new threat from republicans. So, is peace in Northern Ireland still threatened by the republicans?
No, says the IMC.
As useless as the IMC are it does seem unlikely that in a year which has seen three murders and several foiled car bombings they would say that there was no threat from republicans. Sure enough on pages 11-14 of the IMC report that she links to it goes into detail about a great number of attacks by the Real IRA. This has been pointed out in the comments of the article by someone.
In fact, the Provisional IRA has disarmed and disbanded.First of all the PIRA has not disbanded, the IMC believes they have disarmed though. Secondly she was talking about "dissident republicans", which are those not in Sinn Fein or the PIRA.
She then indulges in a bit of unsourced allegations:
The sovereign government finally established at Stormont was wrecked not by republicans but Peter Mandelson's undiplomatic and undignified endorsement of a unionist agenda and by MI5's messing about with spooks at Stormont.Peter Mandelson, whom in most respects I can't stand, was probably the best Northern Ireland secretary since Roy Mason. So who is Campbell referring to when she talks about "the sovereign government" and where is their evidence of this great plot? She doesn't even provide a link that flatly contradicts her claim as she did earlier, evidence is not needed.
Jumping forward a bit Bea adds:
These figures indicate some very worrying trends: loyalist gangsterism is rife, dangerous and productive, and dissident sects have murdered members of the security forcesThis is evidence that she is mendacious rather than simply stupid. Reading the sentence is clearly supposed to give the impression that the "dissident sects" who have murdered members of the security forces were loyalist gangsters rather than the republican gangsters who she is trying to airbrush out of the picture.
Is there anyone else who is so consistently wrong about so many issues as Beatrix Campbell?